Ohio shared m o fr ld o rs a n, 18 Ye 12 matt Feldma am at the 20 D n a V in v e K h the stage wit eries event S te li e e e b o Okeech
KVD: I can’t tell you what the next big thing is going to be, but I can promise you it is going to be here. The Bassmas- ter tour drives guys to come up with new things. To build better mousetraps. To come up with variations that are going to be more efficient and effective. I’ve been fishing professional tournaments now for 21 years and it is a never end- ing process. Just when you think noth- ing new can come along, somebody comes up with something.
GP: When you first broke into the elite leagues various lures dominated the fishing scene. Many of them, however, seem to have fallen out of favour. Yet, when you won the Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh in 2005, you dug way back into your tackle box, found an out-of-date Smith- wick Rouge and won the world championship. Do you think other legendary lures might make comebacks? KVD: Very few, because the technology and engineering that goes into the design of our lures today is so much more sophis- ticated. Crankbaits are a good case in point. We now know how water flows over a crank- bait. We know how to balance them, use weight-transfer sys- tems, circuit-board bills and tungsten. The technology is state-of-the-art. There are a lot of old baits I used to catch fish on that I don’t even throw anymore because there are better baits. When I start- ed fishing, the 7A Bomber and Bomber Long A were staples for me. I don’t even have any in the boat anymore. I have a lot of other things I have more confidence in. That is not to say some- thing won’t come back. The Rouge that I used to win the Classic was unique because it was something that I used for a certain situation. It was built to go super shallow and that is how I was fishing it at Pittsburgh. There is a chance something will pop back onto the radar screen. And there are lure categories that I think will come back. Buzzbaits, for instance, are going to be one of those things. Prop baits are going to be another. There will be a big tournament won somewhere on a prop bait. These are baits that have been around for a long time but people are designing them better now and they work more efficiently. It’s going to be a variation of one of these lures that we’ve been using for a while.
GP: After you won the tour event at Grand Lake, you said that, “Fishing to win and fishing to do well are two different things.” You also said that you spend considerable time in practice looking for the kinds of fish that will put you in the Top 10. What do you do differently when you’re looking for big fish versus numbers of fish? KVD: Because fishing at the professional level is so expensive and the demand from sponsors is so high, the reality is that a lot of guys say they’re there to win but they’re there to have a good showing. That is not what I am out there to do. When you’re truly
GP: Speaking about different approaches, both hard and soft swimbaits have become increasingly popular. Have you incorporated them much into your repertoire? KVD: I spent a lot of time with them and I have worked them it into my style of fishing. The Strike King King Shad is something I’ve had a lot of success with and some heartbreaks too. Swimbaits are along the same phenomenon as the soft plas- tic Senko-style baits. you can throw a plastic worm out there and let it sink to the bottom and it is just not the same thing. It doesn’t have the same wiggle and quiver the other baits do. The King Shad is a lure I can fish fast and cover a lot of water. It is the only swimbait I’ve ever seen that you can fish fast. Most of them are made to be waked and reeled slowly but that is a hard way to get a bass to react. I throw the King Shad on a high speed Quantum 7:1 ratio baitcasting reel so I burn it, stop it and jerk it. you can almost rip it like a dang jerkbait if you want. I mean I’ve just annihilated them on it. I am still learning with it but I like what I see when I throw it. It has the reaction capability of a jerkbait or a spinnerbait. The King Shad has been a sleeper for me. It is one of the lures that I wish I could have kept a secret. I wish I could have kept it off the market.
GP: It is amazing when you think about the number of hot baits and bass fishing techniques that have been developed over the last few years. It makes you wonder what the next new tactic might be on the horizon.